HomeNewsFormer Natl. Security Officials Want Congress to Probe FBI Handling Of Trump-Russia...

    Former Natl. Security Officials Want Congress to Probe FBI Handling Of Trump-Russia Allegations Under Comey

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    In the wake of special counsel John Durham’s conclusion that the FBI acted irresponsibly during its 2016 investigation of then-presidential candidate Donald Trump, a number of former national security officials are urging Congress to launch an investigation into the FBI’s handling of security clearances.

    “Former national security adviser Lt. Gen. Keith Kellogg, former Secretary of Veteran Affairs Robert Wilkie, former Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf, former Acting U.S. Attorney General Matthew Whitaker, former National Security Council Chief of Staff Fred Fleitz, and former deputy national security adviser Steve Yates all signed onto a letter on Thursday calling on Republican House leaders to initiate investigations into the FBI,” The Epoch Times reported.

    “The letter—first shared with the Daily Caller—was organized by the America First Policy Institute (AFPI), a think tank organized by numerous members of the Trump administration, including Kellogg, Wilkie, Wolf, Whitaker, and Fleitz,” the outlet added.

    In their statement, the six former national security officials cited a recent report by Durham, which concluded that the FBI launched an investigation into Trump’s 2016 campaign and conducted surveillance based on unverified sources and claims of collusion with Russia.

    The report also disclosed that former FBI Director James Comey was aware of Hillary Clinton’s strategy to discredit Donald Trump by associating him with Russian election interference.

    “It is crucial we address these serious concerns promptly and comprehensively to ensure individuals within the FBI who have demonstrated a lack of integrity in conduct related to these investigations—or others—do not maintain access to sensitive national security information,” the former national security officials wrote in their letter to House Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) and House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer (R-Ky.).

    “We urge you to hold immediate oversight hearings on the policies and criteria employed by the FBI for issuing, assessing, and revoking security clearances,” the letter added. “Such hearings are necessary to ensure transparency, accountability, and public trust in our law enforcement agencies.”

    The letter expressly requests that Jordan and Comer prioritize investigations into the FBI’s security clearance procedures. In addition, the report urged a review of how the bureau currently addresses and prevents political influences from affecting its operations.

    The Epoch Times continues:

    Additionally, the former national security officials requested that Jordan and Comer investigate the frequency of disciplinary actions taken against FBI employees who improperly access a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) database.

    Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) allows agencies such as the FBI to collect information such as emails from nationals located in the United States without a warrant, but prohibits the targeting of Americans. This warrantless collection of foreign communications may result in the incidental collection of otherwise private communications by U.S. citizens, despite the fact that safeguards are supposed to be in place to protect the Fourth Amendment rights of Americans against unreasonable searches and seizures. It must be probable that searches of raw, unadulterated FISA data will yield foreign intelligence information or criminal evidence.

    In a memorandum opinion issued last month, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) revealed that the FBI had improperly accessed FISA data over 278,000 times between 2020 and early 2021. These improper queries of the FISA database were conducted against individuals suspected of involvement in the breach of the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, participants in Black Lives Matter protests, and contributors to a congressional campaign, according to the news source.

    More on this story via Conservative Brief:

    “As [FBI Director Chris Wray] has made clear, the errors described in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court’s opinion are completely unacceptable,” the FBI said in a statement last month following the memorandum. CONTINUE READING…

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